A swimming instructor has won a bronze Paralympic medal.
Harriet Lee has been connected to Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre in Biggleswade for years. She came third in the SB9 100m breaststroke final on Saturday – and broke her own British Record in the heat.
Natalie Taylor, manager of Stevenage Leisure’s Biggleswade centre, said: “To say that Stevenage Leisure and the staff at Saxon are proud would be an understatement.
“Harriet is a true friend of the centre and her achievements are already inspiring the next generation to learn to swim. It is a great honour to say that she works and trains at the centre.”
Writing on her Twitter account after winning the bronze, Harriet said: “This has been the most amazing experience of my life. Never give up on your dreams; anything is possible.”
Harriet has beckwith-wiedemann syndrome, a rare overgrowth disorder.
Her achievement was particularly impressive as her condition put her in intensive care just four months ago.
This was the 21-year-old’s first Paralympic Games but she had already won gold in the 100m breaststroke (SB9) at the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 British Championships.
As a youngster Harriet trained with the Mid Beds Swim Squad in Biggleswade, before her disability had even been classified.
She taught children at the pool from 2008 to 2010, when she began training as a full time athlete in Peterborough.
She continues to have strong connections to the centre, teaching there when her schedule allows plus getting involved in the pool’s campaigns and charity swimathon.
Natalie added: “Harriet continues to be a regular visitor to Saxon to both teach swimming lessons and complete training sessions with our personal trainers.
“She is not only an employee but a great friend to many of the staff at Saxon who have supported her along the way.
“Every time Harriet swam during the Paralympics staff and customers congregated in the cafe to watch her on TV. Many of the staff also made the journey to the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park to support her.”
As well as the 100m breaststroke Harriet also competed in the 200m individual medley and the 50m freestyle at the London 2012 Games.
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Weather for Biggleswade
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 33 mph
Wind direction: North west
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Wind direction: North